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Home » News » Shrewsbury's Market Hall has a festive buzz

Shrewsbury's Market Hall has a festive buzz

A raft of new food and drink and creative businesses have sparked a festive buzz at Shrewsbury Market Hall – now often dubbed “Shropshire’s answer to Camden Market”.

From a new vintner, selling organic wines sourced from small vineyards around the world, to a twinkly new Christmas shop, designer jeweller and British-made skateboard specialist, the market has a bigger choice for festive shoppers than ever before.

The award-winning indoor market, sandwiched between Shoplatch and Claremont Street, is home to over 60 independent businesses ranging from ‘real food’ producers, family butchers and greengrocers to gift and home accessory boutiques, arts and crafts.

Its festive season kicks off on Wednesday 16th November with a late-night shopping and eating event to coincide with Shrewsbury’s Christmas lights switch-on. Its array of gift stalls and cafes, from Spanish tapas to street food, will open until 9pm and complimentary mulled wine and homemade mince pies will be served to shoppers from 6pm.

On Saturday 10th December, the market will host a special evening celebration to coincide with the annual Shrewsbury Winter Festival. Cafes and gift stalls will open until 10pm. Artisan chocolatier Julia Viani will be staging a Narnia-themed chocolate tea party and there will be live music including DJ Buzzword.

The market’s third late evening opening will be on Wednesday 14th December to coincide with the town’s ‘Carols in The Square’ event. Choirs will perform in the market and cafes and stalls will open until 9pm. Complimentary mulled wine and mince pies will again be served to shoppers.

At Christmas, the market becomes an eclectic destination for shoppers searching for unique gift ideas, handmade decorations and quality produce.

Anna Kayiatou has just launched Scandinavian-style Christmas shop Lovely Little World, selling twinkly lights, decorations and accessories for the home.

Vintner Iron and Rose is one of the market’s newest shops, specialising in organic wines, coffee beans and loose leaf teas that are sourced directly from hand-picked small producers. Behind the business is Robin Nugent who has worked in the wine industry for nearly 20 years.

Also new to the market is Best of British Skateboards which is fast becoming a mecca for skateboarding enthusiasts looking for well-crafted British made skateboards. Owner Matt Daw even has his own range of ‘skate’ clothing.

The market’s butchers are now taking orders for local goose, game and turkey; its delicatessen Cook And Carve has a counter stuffed with Shropshire and British artisan cheeses and chocolatier Julia Viani has conjured up aromatic flavoured chocolates of the season such as chestnut caramel, mulled wine and pumpkin and cinnamon.

Handmade gift ideas include the creations of designer jeweller Godfrey Gardner, British artist designed accessories and stationery at Thistle & Weeds, traditional toys at From Me To YouXX and craft kits by woolcraft specialists Ewe & Ply.

Throughout November and December the Shropshire Visual Art Network Gallery, which is based in the Market Hall, is holding its Merry Mid-Winter Exhibition with original artworks and handmade decorations and home accessories available for sale. These include hand-tied textile wreaths by artist Rosie Read whose studio is based within the market.

Ewe & Ply is also running a series of Christmas decoration-making workshops to help crafters start a proper homespun family heirloom collection. These include how to make crocheted baubles and holly leaves and knitted ‘paperchains’.

During December the market is staging Narnia themed attractions for children to transform themselves into characters from C.S. Lewis’s fantasy novel The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

And to help get shoppers into the festive mood a host of choirs and bands will perform on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas. The line up is:

  • December 3rd: Of One Accord, performing at 10.30am and noon
  • December 10th: The Beautiful Barley Boys 2pm to 4pm
  • December 17th: The Phoenix Singers 11am to noon; The Mere Singers 12.30pm to 1.30pm; the Shrewsbury Youth Gospel Choir 2pm to 2.40pm.

During Christmas week the market will open from 9am to 4pm, Monday 19 December to Saturday 24th December.